Adam Wheater hoping to play his part in the business end of season for Essex
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Adam Wheater has endured a difficult first year back at Essex, but there are signs of a return to form in time for the business end of the season.
Wheater has taken the opportunity provided by Tom Westley’s absence on Test duty to lay claim to a regular place in the Essex middle-order.
The 27 year old hammered a quickfire 50 in the NatWest T20 Blast win at Hampshire last week, and followed up with 34 in the two-day Specsavers County Championship victory against Yorkshire at Scarborough.
His fifth-wicket partnership of 58 with captain Ryan ten Doeschate was the highest in a low-scoring match, taking Essex beyond Yorkshire’s first-innings total and towards a 41-point lead in the table.
“My form is slightly better, yes,” he says. “It’s always tough when you’re out of form to put a finger on it and work out where things have been going wrong.
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“It has been frustrating, but that’s cricket and you’ve got to stay level-headed and crack on.
“In this sport in particular you’ve got to take it with a pinch of salt; it is what it is. The only disappointing thing is not performing for the team. It’s about winning games for Essex, regardless of personal aspirations, personal goals; it’s about getting over the line for the team.”
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Wheater, who has an unenviable record of five ducks, and four other single-figure scores in 18 innings across the three formats this season, and just three knocks above 50, might be forgiven for longing for the season to end. “Not at all,” he says. “Essex haven’t won Division One for something like 25 years, and to play a part is fantastic. I’m fully embracing it and enjoying it because it’s a very rare position to be in.”
Essex’s form in the T20 has been inconsistent and they are bottom of the table going into tomorrow night’s fixture under the Chelmsford lights against Middlesex. Yet they still have an outside chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
Wheater said: “It’s great we’re still in it otherwise these next four games would be a real slog to get through. So it’s nice there is a consequence – every game is a quarter-final really. To squeeze through would be a great result.”